Lets trade marc for pau then. If that's the kind of player you want. All I know is that Marc is the first big that the grizzlies have had that can defend Tim Duncan and Yao Ming and yet he's not good enough to be a starter on a "high level" team. Because defending Duncan or Yao or even Dwight Howard is not important unless he can do a running windmill jam. All I've heard when Pau was here was that Pau was soft and we need a physical big, now that we have one, you criticism him because he is not athletic enough.
But hey I know what you are saying. You want the total package. Let me remind you that there have been 2 players in the last 15 years that are that kind of player. Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. These are guys that can both anchor a defense and an offense.
Sure, Marc is not "quick", but he is physical, and he can control the paint, not by chasing players around the court, but by making them pay when they come into the paint, by boxing out, by denying position and not allowing other physical pf and centers to get good position down low, all skills that this quick pf of yours cannot do. AND he is a great passer. Is he KG, hell no. But who is? Amare isn't KG either as much as you want to believe he is, neither is howard even.
Like I said, if Marc can start to be a consistent low post scorer he is a force. Your lateral quickness argument doesn't seem to fit this discussion. Find a guy with lateral quickness down low and I'll show you a guy that you can physically take out of a game by pushing him around.
Darko can also defend those centers. The problem is that you equate game 15 of an 82 game season with game 3 of a playoff series. These are not even in the same stratosphere. When an elite team with an elite athlete/talent has a week to come up with ways to exploit your weakness than it is different. I have seen it year after year in the playoffs, fans are left to wonder "what happened?"
Marc is not an upper level offensive nor defensive big man. This is why I think he needs to improve physically or he is a backup.
Also, the list is much longer: David Robinson, Dwight Howard, Shaq, Karl Malone, etc.
I don't expect Marc to be one of those type of players nor is it needed for him to be a starter. However, if he is who he is then the PF next to him must be an elite player either offensively or defensively.
For some reason, fans have erroneously got the notion that there is only one way to win in the NBA now due to the "faiulure" of the Suns. I deny that notion and think that a truly elite offense based team can have just as much success as a defense based team. I prefer an offensive based team myself and think it is easier to build and maintain. See New York. This is why I hope beyond hope that LeBron joins D'Antoni and saves the NBA from a return to RileyKnickVanGundyBoreBall.
I mean the sophisticated NBA observer would see that one of the most respected coaches in the NBA has a system closer to D'Antoni than BoreBall in Utah. It is based on an offensive philosphy. Heck, the Lakers are an offensive team also. The equation is the same in the NBA. Offense sells tickets, defense gets you respect, but more talent wins games.
So you can build a defensive team here with little or no talent and go to the lottery just the same as we have without defense.
This is also why my two coaching preferences are so radically different because in the end the coach does not matter past the point of getting the players to believe they can win. Our players KNOW they can't win.